The inaugural edition of Cricket South Africa’s T20 League, SA20 is all set to commence next year from players across the globe participating in it. The auction for the first-ever edition of the T20 league also took place on Monday (19 September). As many as 533 players from different countries are listed for the first season of SA20. However, no Pakistani cricketer has been registered for the auction and hence won’t be a part of SA20.
This leads to the question that why are they not playing. The answer is pretty simple. The six franchises Joburg Super Kings, Pretoria Capitals, Durban’s Super Giants, Paarl Royals, Sunrisers Eastern Cape and MI Cape Town in SA20 are all owned by the team owners of the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises. And as has been the case with IPL, the same is with SA20.
The stakeholders don’t want any kind of controversy and hence they are not ready to welcome Pakistan players on board. Also, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not ready to provide three NOCs to its players.
“No, we are not considering Pakistani players. There are way too many obstacles to go for Pakistani players. First, it’s a hard negotiation with the board to get them on board and allow them NOC. Then, comes the backlash of it. I don’t think any fans in India will be happy with their playing for us,” a franchise official with teams in both UAE & South Africa leagues was quoted saying by InsideSport.
“It’s an investment and there is a lot at stake in every business. No one would want to hurt the sentiments of the customers. In this case, Indian fans are the biggest customers for us. We have decided not to pursue any Pakistani talent. They have some of the best players in the world but it’s not in our best interest,” the franchise added.